I was looking on amazon in the categories my book is listed under on Thursday and I came across this amazing book. I had no intentions of reading another book about suicide because I have read so many I just wanted to move away from reading about it anymore. At least for now. But something about its title and then its description drew me in and I purchased the kindle version.
This book was written by the mother whose adult child developed bipolar disorder severely in the last 3 years of her life. She was 34 and jumped to her death from her father’s 15th floor apartment. This young woman was a brilliant, successful psychotherapist with a PhD before the disease took over so severely that she could no longer work. Her mother was and still is, a psychotherapist. Her father is a physician. They tried everything they knew to help their daughter. Many psychiatrists, many counselors, many medications. Sometimes she would be better, sometimes she would be in torment convinced that the devil wanted her soul and she tried so very hard in praying to God to relieve her suffering. It was horrible. She would often go off her meds because many times people with bipolar do this thinking that they don’t need them, or in this case she thought the meds were from the devil. Even when she stayed on her meds they really did not help her. Her mother thought she needed continuous inpatient care but that was not covered on their insurance plan and they said she really did not qualify for inpatient care.
Three years of this relentless torture and her parents trying everything they knew (and they were medical professionals) and even all this could not save their daughter.
This happened in 1998 and the author has had many years to reflect and go on with her life so it is a book that offers hope and insight as well. It is gripping and I felt as though I got to know her daughter….a beautiful, brilliant, loving soul that was taken over by this horrible disease…bipolar type I. Like depression it is a mood disorder. It has periods of incredible manic episodes and then plummets into the deepest of depressions. In this case her daughter suffered horrible hallucinations also and episodes of anger at the people that loved her most among many other terrible things. The mood disorders have the highest incidences of suicide than any other mental illness.
I’ve read books where the author herself (Kay Redfield Jamison) suffers from severe bipolar disorder and she is a professor and psychologist at Johns Hopkins School of medicine and has written many books on bipolar disorder. She is managed by medicines but is able to continue a successful life. Sometimes the meds work, sometimes they don’t with people. I will be so glad for the day when the medical profession knows more about how to treat mental illness. Today it’s a total crap shoot.
I recommend this book. I was so moved by it that I read it in one sitting and I NEVER have done that with any other book.